Skip to main content

Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

See other formats


in London and he at Rheims, I would send him volumes about peace and war, Spaniards, camps, and conventions1 ; but d'ye think he cares sixpence to know who is gone to Compiegne, and when they come back, or who won and lost four livres at quadrille last night at Mr. Cockbert's?—No, but you may tell him what you have heard of Compiegne 2 ; that they have balls twice a week after the play, and that the Count d'Eu3 gave the king a most flaring entertainment in the camp, where the Polygone was represented in flowering shrubs. Dear West, these are the things I must tell you ; I don't know how to make 'em look significant, unless you will be a Ehemois for a little moment. I wonder you can stay out of the city so long, when we are going to have all manner of diversions. The comedians return hither from Compiegne in eight days, for example; and in a very little of time one attends the regiment of the king, three battalions and an hundred of officers; all men of a certain fashion, very amiable, and who know their world. Our women grow more gay, more lively, from day to day, in expecting them; Mademoiselle la Eeine is brewing a wash of a finer dye, and brushing up her eyes for their arrival. La Baronne already counts upon fifteen of them: and Madame Lelu, finding her linen robe conceals too many beauties, has bespoke one of gauze.
I won't plague you any longer with people you don't know, I mean French ones; for you must absolutely hear of an Englishman that lately appeared at Rheims. About two days ago, about four o'clock in the afternoon, and about an hour after dinner,—from all which you may conclude we
Walpole was at length obliged to declare war against Spain on Oct. 19, 1739.
2  A royal residence.
3  Louis    Charles    de    Bourbon, Comte d'En (1701-1775).
] The relations between England and Spain were at this time much disturbed. The Convention referred to -was signed in Jan. 1739 with, a view to composing the differences between the two nations. This it failed to do, and Sir Robert
WALPOI.E.   I